Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Autism Awareness Month, I am over it!!

Call it what you like, but Autism Awareness Month does not help me or most of the parents I know. It more reminds us how alone we are and how the big blue puzzle piece uses this month to suck more money out of our community and away from charities that actually help families like mine, but I regress.

This years "Autism Awareness Month" is especially painful. Every year I read about parents who kill their children with autism and sometimes themselves, but this year it hit me especially hard as it not only my community, it is not just my state, but it is my county, San Diego County. A mom, killed her child and possibly tried to kill herself. I am consumed with guilt, even though I have never met this woman or her child. I just know I could have been this woman and Austin could have been this child. The difference between me and her, I am not sure. I like to think it is my two older kids who were teens during the years of hell, the years of poop smears, not sleeping, trying to figure out diet, biomedical and services and an awesome brother-in-law, mother-in-law, sister and mom who were on my side and did not under mind me or Ed through the whole process of trying to figure diet and biomedical out. And yes I did list the in-laws first for a reason, most moms I know have some issues with their own families but they have more with their in-laws. For me I never had an issue for with any, they were all on team Austin and still are. I thank God daily for the fact that I have a team of family members who "get it", but I know my fellow PITAs and Warrior parents are not all as lucky as me. I know most of my friends do not have the family support I have.

I worry about families who do not have the support I do, the families who have no family support, no community support and no one to listen to them and know that they are not alone. I can only imagine how Daniel's mom felt, how alone she was, how desperate she was and what could have overwhelmed her to the point that she would hurt her own child and try to hurt herself. I pray for Daniel's dad, I know he is feeling guilt, and wondering how he missed the signs, I worry he will never get over it, I worry about him being alone. He is now in two worlds but does not belong to either, he had a kid with autism and he had a kid that was murdered, he is a lost soul, I am sure he is also confused about his feelings about his wife, the mother and murderer of his child. I look at my own husband and I project my own feelings onto him in two ways, 1 what if I was Daniel's mom and had done this and what if he was the one who had done this. I have no answers. I have more questions than answers. I am confused. I am overwhelmed. And again I am thankful, I am thankful that 6.5 years ago, I had more support than I knew and I am not Daniel's mom, I am Austin's mom. I am also Ashley's mom, Nickalas's Mom, and Emily's Mom, I am Tanya's sister, Clem's sister in law, and Sandy's daughter and Ed's wife, and Shelly's best friend, and even though my best friend would be the first to say she can't watch Austin she is there always to back me up and if I called her she would know who could and would get both me and Austin the help we needed immediately.

I am a lucky one, I had a team behind me. A very supportive team or as my sister calls them my "ASS", my AUTISM SUPPORT STAFF, they along with my fellow PITAs are my life line. They are what keep me moving forward and what makes me know tomorrow will be okay!! MY PITAs and my ASSes are also what keep me moving everday. I know I can ask for help.

I pray daily to make sure every parent like me has at least a PITA or an ASS. If your not a parent of a child with autism, I pray you will be an ASS, we need you, we desparately need you!!!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Seriously, I'm in love with Jillian Michaels. Don't HATE me!!

Seriously, I'm in love with Jillian Michaels.

And before you send me hate mail and tell me she posted an anti Andy Wakefield link on her Facebook page, let me tell you unfortunately I know! And unfortunately I had already purchased the video and was over a week in to her "30 Day Shred" before I was told of her possibly being pro vaccine.

Being a poor autism mom, I had already spent the $ and was feeling the burn from the DVD. Considering the norm in my world is that there is no extra money and generally no physical burn from exercise out side of chasing the kid with autism, I decided I would continue with the 30 Days since I already had opened the DVD and could not return it.

For the any of you who do not want to give her any money I recommend seeing if you can rent it from the library or Netflix. It is less than $10 on so she can't be making that much off it anyways!All that aside as a parent of a child with autism I know most of us are on limited time, especially if you are the parent of a child under the age of 5. You are also low on funds, because if you're on my friends with me your probably spending all your money on supplements, gfcf everything free, organic, therapy and more things than I can name. So this video is made for you! For under $14 which just is the cost of the video and two 3 pound hand weights ($34 if you buy an exercise mat) and just 20 minutes of time in 30 Days you can also be in much better shape and much healthier! I know you are also like me and know we have to live forever for our child with autism so being in the best health you can be is the most selfless thing you can do! Beyond the physical health, exercise is also an amazing mental health remedy and when you are done with the 1st 30 days and you apply yourself, I can guarantee your self esteem will be higher also.

How can I guarantee that?

After just doing Level 1 of 3, I went from:

31.2% body fat to 27.2% body fat

I lost a total of 12.6 inches, 4 in the waist and 2.5 in the hips.

I gained one pound, which is all muscle!

AND I still ate out, had ice cream and drank beer occasionally. I do eat lots of veggies, eat appropriate portion sizes and take half home when eating out, but I generally do not give up anything when I am working out, I just try to eat less!! I have found allowing my self to at least have some of my favorites leads me to never having to binge eat!

I use the bodybugg system which helps you track measurements, weight and will figure your body weight. If you are not willing or do not have the funds to invest in the system then I have a few recommendations to help you. The most important thing in any weight loss program is not knowing your weight, it is know you your measurements. When you stop losing weight and if you have not done your measurements you will get discouraged and give up. At that point in time you are gaining muscle and muscle weighs more than fat, so you will need to confirm you are losing inches to keep you on track. Start an excel file with your starting weight, and the following measurements: neck, upper arm, forearm, chest (I measure under the breasts, think bottom strap of your bra to make sure I have a consistent area to measure), waist (I measure at the belly button), hips, thigh and calf. My Fitness Pal is free website/app that can also be used to track your food consumption, weight, neck, waist and hips. I know that when I started losing weight the last thing on earth I wanted to know was my measurements, but when I hit that first plateau I was very happy to see even though I had stopped losing weight that I had lost inches.

The 20 minute video consists of 3 levels, each level consists of a warm up and cool down and 3 circuits of: 3 minutes weights/resistance training, 2 minutes cardio, and 1 minute abs.

Thanks Autism Speaks for again doing nothing for us on World Autism Day!!!

Dear Autism Speaks,

I had decided to not write about you this year for Autism Awareness Day, until I got the following e-mail from you.

Autism SpeaksiPad2 Application

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for applying for the AutismCares iPad2 Grant.

We received 13,000 applications from around the world, but could only consider families located in the United States.

Although your family was not awarded this time, your application will be kept on file in case we are able to donate more iPads in the future.

For resources, toolkits, and much more information for you and your family, please visit


Autism Speaks

Since you decided on World Autism Day to blatantly slap me across the face and point out how little you do for my family, my non verbal child with Autism and our autism community, I've decided to go ahead and write a blog and open letter to your organization.

I'm at a loss on how an organization that raised $50,238,297 dollars, almost $17 million spent in salaries, another $17 million on "other expenses" in 2010, couldn't possibly use some of that $17 million in "other expenses" for 2011 on 13,000 iPads. I was at Walmart this morning and the iPad 2 is only $399.00 and would only be $5,187,000 and would actually benefit the people you claim to be fundraising to help. As far as I can tell from your tax return is the only people you are really helping are those who are paid their salaries by you.

As for our non verbal child Austin and him getting a much needed iPad, I guess we will keep plugging along on how to fundraise a bit of the money away from you and into
Austin's fundraiser.

For Austin Primer and the rest of the 1 in 88 kids with autism and their families that your NOT SPEAKING FOR, let me say thanks again for NOTHING and I hope you suck that blue light bulb and choke on the little blue puzzle piece.


Shannon Primer whose proud to Speak for herself and proudly wearing black today!!!